Monday, December 11, 2017
Public safety

Home Depot theft suspect's dog left to swelter in car

TAMPA — The girlfriend of a man accused of theft at a Home Depot on Thursday drew the ire of witnesses when he left a dog in their car.

After Jeremy Payne, 30, was arrested, his girlfriend, Amber Troxell, told police he stole two bales of wire to pay for repairs to their broken-down car, according to a police report.

Troxell, 21, also said they had left a dog in the car, and that "my air conditioner sucks." The officer told her to return to the Home Depot at 8815 N Florida Ave. and retrieve the dog, the report says.

A cellphone video from the scene shows that a crowd had rescued the dog and was gathered around it, rubbing ice water on its belly and putting ice cubes in its mouth. The dog was panting and wheezing heavily.

When Troxell arrived to pick up the dog, the mood turned ugly. "I don't care if you're a girl or not, I'll pop you in the mouth," shouted one man. "You don't have to be rude," Troxell said.

"Well, what you did to this animal is rude," shouted another woman. "Worse than rude, that's cruelty."

When police officers arrived, the dog was returned to Troxell. Officers advised her where the nearest animal hospital was and told her to go there immediately, according to the police report.

Payne was booked on a grand theft charge and released Friday morning on $2,000 bail.

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